Kochia (Kochia scoparia) originated in Eurasia and introduced from Europe as an ornamental plant is now found throughout North America. Although considered an objectionable weed is readily grazed by livestock and deer; however it can contain high levels of nitrate. It is an annual broadleaf plant that stands erect; are highly branched, and are up to six feet tall. With age, the stems turn reddish. Leaves are alternate and their margins fringed with hair. The undersurface of leaves are hairy but the upper side is smooth. Flowers are inconspicuous. Fruit are spherical and contain one seed. The taproot is shallow and plants do not compete well with a healthy potato crop.

Kochia - young plant

Young kochia plant

Mature kochia plant

Mature kochia plant


  • Nissen, S.J. and D.E. Kazarian. 2000. Common Weed Seedlings of the Central High Plains. Publ. Colorado State Univ, Ft. Collins, CO.
  • Stubbendieck, J., G.Y. Friisoe, and M.R. Bolick. 1994. Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains. Publ. Univ Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
  • Whitson, T.D. (ed.) 1992. Weeds of the West. Publ. Weed Sci Soc Amer, Newark, CA.